It’s that time of year when, in the West, even the most ardent capitalists open their wallets so as not to appear too Scrooge-like in their push to the top 1%.

I hear from a teacher about the students in her school here in Canada who are in need at this time of year: there is apparently a list and many families from their community are on it. Many include children she has taught: children whose families she had no idea were struggling so badly.

And, then, from India, comes a URL sent to me, pointing to this article about the U.S.:

It is important that we think about these things and donate at this time of the year, as well as throughout the year. It is troubling that, for a very brief window around Christmas celebrations, people are willing to acknowledge that not everyone has enough in our cultures. And, they are willing to contribute to the betterment of those situations. However, these issues are not seasonal. It is nice that Christmas also comes during the darkest days of winter, with the least sun, and just before the extreme cold sets in, here in Canada. however, the conditions of these families is year-round and ongoing, in most cases.

It is easy to explain why. The disparity between the rich and the poor grows as the social net is eroded and extreme capitalism proliferates. Post-2007-08 and the collapse of capitalism, we prop up the idea that business as usual can carry on. But it isn’t only these stories of extreme poverty that make obvious that capitalism is failing–and failing us. It is the everyday. It is our own alienation from one another. It is a world where it is more urgent to reply to e-mails that to break bread with family and friends in any regular way that would create community.

These too are the issues of deep-energy literacy and they aren’t merely visible at Christmas — it just happens to be when people are at least, a little open to seeing what is in plain view all the year round.

(Image: From the Guardian Article: